Massive Reduction in Invitations for Skilled Visas

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Massive Reduction in Invitations for Skilled Visas

By Michael Cradock,


Temporary visa holders in Australia need to face a harsh reality that there is no longer a clear pathway to permanent residence.
There was a massive 95% reduction in the number of invitations for the 189 and 491 Skilled Visas in April 2020 as compared with March 2020.

What was the main reason for this change in Government action?

Recent Australia Bureau of Statistics data suggests that 800,000 jobs were lost as Australia increased its Covid-19 restrictions.
The Grattan Institute estimates the number of Australians out of work could reach between 17% and 28%.
The skilled visa invitation data in April 2020 clearly shows that the Australian Government has moved quickly to preserve jobs for Australian workers.

  • Only 100 invitations were issued in April 2020 (compared to 2,050 in March 2020)
  • The minimum Points Test score required was 95
  • More than 50% needed a Points Test score of 100

The below graphs provide further information.

How to score 100 points or more on the Points Test (for 491 and 189 visas)?

There are various combinations to achieve 100 points on the General Skilled Migration Points Test.


For this client to score more than 100 points they can do the following:
1. Become a NAATI-accredited interpreter – 5 extra points
2. Undertake a Professional Year (Accountants/ Engineers/ IT) – 5 extra points
3. Undertake a 2-year Masters by Research in STEM or ICT – 10 extra points

What other visa options are there for Temporary Visa holders in Australia?

Clearly, unless you have 100 points you are unlikely to be invited to apply for a 491 or 189 visa.

Therefore, assuming you are in Australia and your target is Permanent Residence, the typical other visa options include:

1. Partner Visa
a. 820/801 visa (Direct PR)

2. Employer Sponsored Visas
a. 482 -> 186/ 187
b. 494 -> 191
c. 186/ 187 (Direct PR)

We can expect that Australian-owned companies will be encouraged to prioritise giving new jobs to Australian citizens and permanent residence holders.

What is the role of the 485 visa?

The 485 Graduate visa as an important visa that allows the client more time to accumulate work experience (and hence more points).
After holding the 485 visa for 2,3 or 4 years the client will need to move onto a 482, 491 or 494 visa.
So, the 485 visa is simply a stepping-stone to the next temporary visa.

What other visas can people consider

1. Global Talent/ Distinguished Talent – 858 (Direct PR)
2. Recognised Graduate – 476 (no direct pathway to PR)
3. 491 Small Business owner
a. 491 SBO Queensland  191
NOTE: No other state has yet implemented a 491 SBO program.
4. Business & Investor
a. 188  888
b. 132 (Direct PR)


• Students will extend their studies in Australia, if they can afford to
• There will be a higher rate of refusal for Employer sponsored visas
• There will be an increase in Partner Visa applications
• PhD students will apply for the Global Talent/ Distinguished Talent 858 visa prior to being conferred their PhD

Contact: 0488073175,
MARN 1799333

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Website thi thử ôn tập - bài test BẰNG TIẾNG VIỆT để trở thành công dân Úc